Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen died at the age of 65 in Seattle on Monday afternoon from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphom, a type of Cancer, his family said in a statement.
Paul Gardner Allen was born in Seattle on Jan. 21, 1953, the son of a librarian father and teacher mother. Allen met Bill Gates in the computer room of their high school in Seattle in 1968.
Paul Allen persuaded Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard and create Microsoft before becoming one of world’s richest, most philanthropic men. In 1975, the pair formed Micro-Soft — Allen is credited for coming up with the name Micro-Soft, an amalgam of microcomputer and software, although the hyphen was later dropped.
Allen led Microsoft’s technical operations in its early years and was involved in creating such revolutionary software programs such as MS-DOS and Word. However, he is said to have lacked the commercial instincts of Gates, who is widely credited with powering Microsoft’s rise in the 1990s.
Allen left Microsoft in 1983 following a dispute with Gates. However, his share of their original partnership allowed him to spend the rest of his life and billions of dollars on yachts, art, rock music, sports teams, brain research, and real estate.
Allen along with his sister Jody Allen in 1986, founded Vulcan, the investment firm that oversees his business and philanthropic efforts. He founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the aerospace firm Stratolaunch, which has built a colossal airplane designed to launch satellites into orbit. He has also backed research into nuclear-fusion power.
Over the course of several decades, Allen gave more than $2 billion to a wide range of interests, including ocean health, homelessness and advancing scientific research.
In 1988 at 35, he bought the Portland Trail Blazers professional basketball team, he also was a part owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, major league soccer team, and bought the Seattle Seahawks. Allen could sometimes be seen at games or chatting in the locker room with players.
Allen was also an avid music lover. He had a list of high profile friends in the entertainment industry including U2 singer Bono. Allen had a band on call to jam with when ever he wanted, and spent more than $250million building a museum devoted to his hero, Jimi Hendrix, which morphed into a music and science fiction exhibit designed by Frank Gehry.
Allen had disclosed earlier this month that he had begun undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphom, which he previously overcame nine years ago. He had an earlier brush with Hodgkin's lymphoma, another cancer, in the early 1980s before leaving Microsoft.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called Allen’s contributions to the company, community and industry “indispensable.”
“As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world,” Nadella wrote on Twitter.
Gates said he was heartbroken about the loss of one of his “oldest and dearest friends.”“Personal computing would not have existed without him,” Gates said in a statement.